Be it the finesse of appliqué work from Odisha, intricately woven ikat from Andhra Pradesh, the detailed phulkari work from Punjab, or the beautifully famous Thanjavur paintings from Tamil Nadu, our country has a rich history of art forms that can be used in several ways to beautify our homes.
From lippan to thikri, here are some lesser-known crafts from across the country that you can add to light up your house this festive season.
Bhunga, the circular huts found throughout Kutch, are made of clay or bamboo chips plastered with lippan, a mixture of clay and horse dung. The lippan on the walls, partitions, doorways, lintels, niches, and floors of the bhunga sport elaborate decorations that consist of okli, textures created by the impressions of fingers and palms, and sculpted forms that are inlaid with mirrors.
Chikani mitti and horse dung are mixed with water to prepare the dough, called matti.
A small portion of matti is then taken to make a 3-5mm thick coil.
The coil is dipped in fevicol and water and pinched on the wall to make it stick. The coil is smoothened using wet hands to remove cracks and merge joints.
First the border is created and then divided into parts.
Intricate motifs and patterns are created with mirrors similar to the embroidery work on the clothes worn by women in the community.
White clay is coated on top of the finished mirror artwork to get a pristine white look.
Designs in pitara, a generations-old craft form from Gujarat and Rajasthan, are skillfully hammered into a sheet of brass.
A brass/copper sheet is cut into the desired size for the product.
A metal dye is used as the base on which the sheet is kept and hammered for the pattern to appear on the sheet.
The wooden base is cut and two coats of Fevicol SR are applied and the sheet is pasted on it and left for drying.
Go for antique finishing if you want the rustic look. To achieve a shinier finish, rub the brass sheet with a sponge.
The piece is then lacquered and dried.
The art of inlaying spherical, hand-cut pieces of mirror on the ceiling and walls to form a mosaic is known as thikri or mirror inlay. This art, from Rajasthan, is found in temples, palaces, even home decor items.
The craftsmen first make a draft of the desired design on paper and stick it on a wooden plank.
Using the diamond cutting tool, colourful glass pieces are cut to acquire the required shapes. These shapes are then stuck to the paper base at their assigned position and the remaining grooves between the pieces of glass are filled with a paste of marble powder and glue.
The writer is the founder-CEO of Baaya Design.